City has been great partner for Hope In Action project

Last year, I submitted a letter to the Clinton Herald introducing the newly formed group Hope In Action. The individuals participating in this team are motivated by their faith values to enact changes in the City of Clinton to improve the lives of all citizens. The overall goal is to strive to eliminate the racism, classism and social injustices that exist in society.

The first project Hope In Action was asked to undertake was to have a public, handicap accessible restroom installed in Clinton Park. This was deemed to be an appropriate undertaking for this team as there are several children and intellectually disabled adults in the area who would benefit from the addition of a restroom in the park.

The challenge facing us was that none of the group members had ever worked on developing a project of this magnitude and knowing where to start was confusing. Attending a meeting of the Capital Improvements Planning Committee seemed a logical first step. The idea of dropping in on a City Committee meeting was overwhelming, but we were given the opportunity to explain our goals and the members patiently answered our questions. In addition, advice was freely given about how to work with the City of Clinton to bring our plans to fruition. Matt Brooke has been a constant help to us in our learning process. Josh Eggers, director of Parks and Recreation, has been supportive in helping us to achieve our mutual goal of making Clinton Park a place where the community can enjoy and thrive.

To date, $90,000 has been pledged from the City of Clinton to install a restroom in Clinton Park. This could not have happened without the help, support and guidance of our City Council and Planning Committees. The city's immediate assistance has been essential in the implementation of the project goal.

On behalf of Hope and Action, I would like to thank everyone who has helped us in our journey thus far. We look forward to the day we can celebrate the completion of this project and work with the City of Clinton on future projects.

Hope in Action meets at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 715 S. Third St., Clinton, on the first Wednesday of every month. To get further information about attending meetings, contact Pastor Clark Olson-Smith or Jackie Cannon at 242-4102.

Donna Santiago,